Singh & Ors Vs. The Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil) Kaithal & Ors 
INSC 379 (12 March 1996)
K.Ramaswamy, K.Venkataswami K. (J)
JT 1996 (3) 561 1996 SCALE (3)110
O R D
appeal by special leave arises from the order of the Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court made on June 11, 1979 in writ petition No.1944/79.
admitted facts are that the appellants came into possession of the lands in
question as tenants 20 years prior to 1975 and the lease had expired in the
no fresh lease was granted to the appellants. It is not in dispute that the
lands are Shamlat Deh lands vested in the Gram Panchayat. The High Court
relying upon its earlier decisions has held that under Section 7 of the Punjab
Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961 read with Rules 19 and 20 of the Rules the
Assistant Collector, 1st class has been empowered to have the appellants
ejected and the notice issued under Rule 20 cannot be said to be invalid.
appeal by special leave.
P.P. Juneja, learned counsel for the appellants, contended that Rule 19 is bad
in law since the Act did not define as to who is an unauthorised occupant; that
Rule 19 cannot specify an unauthorised occupant; and that, therefore, it is
beyond the rule making power. We find no force in the contention.
19 elaborately states thus:
For the purpose of Section 7 of the Act, a person shall be deemed to be in unauthorised
occupation of any land in Shamlat Deh :
where he has, whether before or after the commencement of the Act, entered into
possession thereof, otherwise than under and in pursuant of any allotment,
lease or grant by the Panchayat; or
where, he being an allottee, lessee or grantee, has by reason of the
determination or cancellation of his allotment, lease or grant in accordance
with the terms in that behalf therein contained ceased whether before or after
the commencement of the Act, to be entitled to occupy or hold such land in Shamlat
any person authorized to occupy any land in Shamlal Deh, has whether before or
after the commencement of the Act:
Sublet, in contravention of the terms of allotment, lease or grant without the
permission of the Panchyat or of any other authority competent to permit such
sub- letting, the whole or any part of such land in Shamlal Deh; or
Otherwise acted in contravention of any of the terms express or implead under
which he is authorized to occupy such land in Shamlal Deh.
For purposes of clause (a) a person shall not merely, by reason of the fact
that he has paid any rent, be deemed to have entered into possession as allottee,
lessee or grantee." Rule 20 specifies the procedure as under:
Issue of Notice to show cause against order of eviction.
7 and 15(2)(k)-(1). If the Assistant Collector of the Ist grade is of opinion
that any person are in unauthorised occupation of or claim interest in the land
in Shamlal deh situated within his jurisdiction and that they should be
evicted, he shall issued in the manner hereinafter provided a notice in writing
calling upon all the persons concerned to show cause why an order of eviction
should not be made.
The notice shall- (a) specify the grounds on which the order of eviction is
proposed to be made; and (b) require all persons concerned, that is to say all
persons who are or may be, in occupation of or claim interest in Shamlal deh,
to show cause, if any, against the proposed order notice being a date not
earlier than ten days from the date of issue thereof.
The Assistant Collector shall cause the notice to be affixed outside the panchayat
ghar or any other building used as office by the Panchayat and at some
conspicuous places of the estate in which the land in Shamlal Deh is situated,
whereupon the notice shall be deemed to have been duly given to all persons
the Assistant Collector knows or has reasons to believe that any persons are in
occupation of the land in Shamlal deh, then without prejudice to the provisions
of sub-rule (3) he may cause a copy of the notice to be served on every such
person by post, or by delivering or tendering it to that person." Sections
7 and 13-B read as under:
(1) An Assistant Collector of the first grade having jurisdiction in the
village may, either suo motu or on an application made to him by the Panchayat
or an inhabitant of Village or the Block Development and Panchayat Officer or
Social Education and Panchayat Officer by the Block Development and Panchayat
Officer, after making such summary enquiry as he may deem fit and in accordance
with such procedure as may be prescribed, eject any person who is in wrongful
or unauthorised possession of the land or other immovable property in the Shamlal
Deh of that village which vests or is deemed to have been vested in the Panchayat
under this Act and put the Panchayat in possession thereof and for so doing the
Assistant Collector of the first grade may exercise the powers of a revenue
Court in relation to the execution of a decree for possession of land under the
Punjab Tenancy Act, 1887.
The Assistant Collector of the first grade may, by an order, in writing,
require any person to pay a penalty, in respect of the land or other immovable
property which was or has been in his wrongful or unauthorised possession, at a
rate not less than six hundred rupees and not more than two thousand and five
hundred rupees per hectare per annum, having regard to the benefit which could
be derived from the land or other immovable property.
penalty is not paid within the period of thirty days from the date of the
order, the same shall be recoverable as arrears of land revenue.
any person refused or fails to comply with the order of eviction passed under
sub-section (1) within ten days of the date of such order, the Assistant
Collector of the first grade may use such force, including police force, as may
be necessary for putting the panchayat in possession.
Any person aggrieved by an order of the Assistant Collector of the first grade
may within a period of thirty days from the date of the order, prefer an appeal
to the Collector, in such form and manner, as may be prescribed."
All suits pending in any Civil Court in respect of any land or other immovable
property wherein relief has been claimed on the ground of its being excluded
from Shamlal Deh under clause (g) of Section 2 or on any of the grounds
mentioned in sub-section (3) of Section 4 against the Panchayat, shall stand
transferred to and the fresh proceedings for seeking relief on the aforesaid
grounds shall be instituted before the Assistant Collector of the first grade
having jurisdiction in the village wherein the land or other immovable property
is suitable who shall dispose of the same in the manner laid down in
sub-sections (5) and (7) of Section 13-A." A conjoint reading of these
provisions would clearly indicate that the conspectus of the operation of the
Act was intended to have unauthorised occupants ejected by specified officer
who has been invested with power and jurisdiction to evict unauthorised
occupants from the possession of the lands vested in the Gram Panchayat. The
contention, therefore, that the Government is devoid of power to make Rule 19
is without force. The further contention of Shri Juneja is that contrary to the
specifications mentioned in Rule 20, the appellant was called upon to give the grounds
for his not being ejected which is in derogation of the language in which Rule
20 is couched. Though prima facie the contention is attractive, on the facts we
do not find any substance in the contention. On his own admission that the
appellants are in unauthorised occupation after the expiry of the lease, they
are liable to be ejected unless they show any other legal right for their continuance
circumstance, we do not think that there is any substance in the appeal.
appeal is accordingly dismissed. No costs.
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